by Dr. Charles Stanley
Thursday January 19, 2006
The Lord’s Pattern for Prayer
In the second half of the Lord’s prayer, Jesus addressed our need for daily provision,
forgiveness, and protection. Notice His words remain focused on the Father, who provides all three.
Give us this day our daily bread. It is God’s will that we pray daily for Him to supply what is needed. In doing so, we are acknowledging that He is the source of all our necessities, whether they are physical, material, emotional, or spiritual. We are declaring our trust in His sufficiency for each day. God already knows what we lack; in asking, we place ourselves in a position of dependence, like a child to a father.
Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. This part of the pattern for prayer is meant to insure that everything is right between us and our Father — and between us and other people. Since unforgiveness toward others is sin, it creates tension between us and God. His will is for us to forgive others every single time. Otherwise, we’re hypocritical, harboring enmity toward another person but praying for our own forgiveness.
Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. We ask God to control our circumstances so that we won’t be faced with temptation too strong to resist. This is needed because the Enemy and the world stand ready to lure us into unrighteousness by evil enticements.
Prayer is all about our relationship with God through Jesus Christ. To learn how to pray the Bible way, we take the pattern the Lord has given us and ask Him to teach us how to use it properly.